Record number of pupils secure university place
FINALLY after waiting many anxious weeks, thousands of pupils across Argyll and Bute opened their exam results on Tuesday, as the Scottish Government announced the largest number of Scots school children had secured their university places.
More than 140,000 students north of the Border received the results of their National 4 and 5, Higher, Advanced Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate exams from the Scottish Qualifications Authority, with 9,000 certificates dropping through letterboxes in the PA postcode.
28,300 Scottish students successfully secured their higher education courses, with 27,400 going on to Scottish universities and colleges, and a further 3,900 EU pupils securing places in Scotland.
This year also saw the second highest number of Higher passes on record, at 152,701 or 77 per cent of those sat, despite a fall in the number of school students. More pupils also gained Higher-level qualifications related to work skills, with National Certificates at SCQF level 6 increasing by 23 per cent to 4,920.
National Certificates, Awards and National Progres- sion Awards, in courses such as early education, childcare and computer games development, also went up 27 per cent to more than 43,000.
Argyll and Bute Council is still analysing the results from across the region’s schools, which it will continue to share, but it announced the pass rates for Higher exams was 78.29 per cent, just above the national average. 96.17 per cent of Argyll and Bute pupils sitting the National 4 qualification passed, three points above the average, and 78.29 per cent passed the National 5, just below the nationwide figure of 79 per cent.
Locally, there were also 255 passes for Advanced Higher. Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, congratulated pupils, and their teachers, parents and guardians, for all their extremely hard work: ‘ There will be many celebrations going on as we have young people to be proud of. I would like to reassure any student who would have liked to have done better that schools will be keen to support them in their next steps from here.’
Skills Development Scotland has set up a free helpline to offer advice, information and support for pupils and parents, including information on college and university courses, apprenticeships, employment and volunteering.
The number is 0808 100 8000, and it will be open from 8am to 8pm on August 9 and 10, and from 9am to 5pm until August 17.
National Parent Forum of Scotland Chair Joanna Murphy described it as ‘a real life line’: ‘ Young people can talk to someone who is impartial, which helps you to step back and take stock.
‘One of my daughters didn’t do as well as expected in her fifth year and was devastated, but after talking to the careers advisers at the helpline, she realised she had so many options.
‘ It takes some heat out of the emotion of the day and reminds young people no matter the results, there is always a next step.’
You can read more about Argyll and Bute’s schools in The Oban Times’ education supplement next week.
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney with advisers from the exam results helpline.